Making Frozen Oobleck

Making Frozen Oobleck

I previously posted about making oobleck (also known as goop) back in September. I wanted to continue that post to share our frozen oobleck adventures in case you wanted to take it a step further. This is a great way to cool down on a hot, or even warm, day. I’m not sure if I made it with less water than normal or if it was because I froze the oobleck, but the overall consistency was drier and funner than the previous times.

Create oobleck and if that gets old change it up by adding food dye and/or freeze it before playing.

Making Oobleck

To make oobleck you only need to have some cornstarch on hand and mix it with  water. I used to add in more water than cornstarch but have since made it with equal amounts of water and cornstarch. The best I can recommend is to add less water than you think you’ll need as you can always add more, whereas you may run out of cornstarch. To dye the oobleck I use water-based food dye and either add it to the water first or add to the mixture right before mixing it together. You can always check out my previous post if you want more information.

Cornstarch and water combined.
Start by combining your cornstarch (one part) and water (one-ish part) together.
Quickly added some water-based blue food dye to the cornstarch and water before mixing it.
If you want to dye the oobleck it’s easiest to mix in if you add it to the water or right after adding the water to your mixture.
Checking the oobleck consistency.
Then mix it all together and check the consistency.
If it’s too dry you can always add more water and if it’s too wet or runny you can add some more cornstarch.

I then poured my oobleck into ice cube trays and threw it into the freezer to freeze. The next day I popped out the frozen oobleck cubes and put them into a freezer bag before rinsing out the ice cube trays so I could freeze a different color.

Bagged red oobleck.
After making the oobleck I put it into my ice cube trays, froze it, and then transferred it to a freezer bag so I could make another batch. In this case I made and bagged the red (pink-ish) oobleck before making the blue.

If you want to make a smaller batch but still want a variety of colors you could always add the food dye after making the oobleck. Just be aware it’s a bit harder to mix the dye in fully once the oobleck is created so you might end up with a marbling of colors which is pretty great too.

Separated some of the oobleck it dye it yellow.
I made the white oobleck. Scooped a third into another container (used my measuring cup), added food dye, and mixed it up. Loved the resulting marbled swirls.
Mixing the red oobleck together.
After pouring the yellow oobleck into the ice cube tray I rinsed out my measuring cup before separating more of the oobleck from the main bowl and dyed it red.
Two ice cube trays filled with oobleck. The first with white and the other with red, yellow, and blue added.
I made one ice cube tray with red, yellow, and blue while keeping the other tray white.

Playing With Oobleck

The kids loved breaking the frozen oobleck cubes up with their fingers. I loved how we had more time to play with each color since they didn’t immediately merge into each other. If you wanted a new color you had to force them together… though if we were more patient over time our containers of colors might have mixed. We had a blast playing with the oobleck cubes multiple times and I really want to remember to pull this out more often when it gets warmer here. We even found you can use them like sidewalk chalk although they weren’t as dark as mainstream sidewalk chalk. Just a warning though as the food dye might stain depending on your ratio of food dye in the oobleck and the surface you’re coloring on.

Playing with frozen oobleck cubes.
The kids had a blast breaking apart the oobleck and I loved making purple. The colors were gorgeous!
Warmed cubes play.
After Ada’s birthday party the oobleck cubes had more time sitting in the sun although they were still in their cube form. The colors were easier to combine and were more oobleck-like as they were warmer.

Playing Inside

If you want to play inside it can be as simple as making a small single color of oobleck and keep it inside of a container. You could also go more complicated by adding water-safe toy insects, funnels, colanders, scoops, spoons, etc. If you have leftover oobleck I sometimes throw it in a lidded container so if a kid wants oobleck again you can easily pull it out without making another batch.

Zoey playing with day old oobleck.
After combining Ada and Zoey’s leftover oobleck together the next day Zoey wanted oobleck and I was able to pull out the container and handed her some of the dried toys from the day before.

Last week I pulled out oobleck and made a batch for either kid in their favorite color. I gave them spoons, funnels, a bowl, a colander, measuring cups, and play kitchen utensils from the Dollar Tree. After a bit I decided to make up some more oobleck so I grabbed the six plastic muffin tins and made them three individual colors each. It changed up the play and, combined with changing out the oobleck for soapy water, I got over an hour of happy playing before we used paper towels to wipe up all the spilled soapy water and oobleck.

Two different oobleck colors.
Split a box of cornstarch between the two girls and made their favorite color: red and orange. It would also be cool to make two primary colors (or more) and have them share colors to make the secondary colors.
Small containers of cornstarch and water-based food dye.
When changing it up I portioned a small amount of cornstarch in each of the six plastic muffin tins. I then dropped a bit of food dye into each (two red, two yellow, and two blue). The food dye is water based so it was cool seeing small amounts of dark oobleck form where I dropped the dye.
Oobleck prepped and ready to be stirred.
I then poured a bit of water into each before splitting them up between the girls. I let them choose if they wanted to mix their own or dump it right away.
Kids with their new oobleck containers inside their main oobleck container.
I noticed Zoey’s oobleck was a bit watery so I gave her the containers with more cornstarch and less water in the hopes it would balance out after she dumps them.
Mixing the red in the funnel with the yellow oobleck she was pouring to make green.
Ada was pouring red oobleck into her funnel when I gave her the new oobleck. She decided to add the yellow oobleck to the funnel and called me over to see the green that resulted.

When Zoey, and later Ada, were done with oobleck I switched out their containers for soapy water. When Zoey was done I gave her oobleck to Ada and when Ada was done I was able to add enough water to the oobleck to dilute it enough to go down the kitchen drain. They splashed enough with the soapy water that clean up just required cleaning up the spilled water and then giving the table a swipe or two with the dishcloth.

Frozen Leftover Oobleck

Since we were talking about frozen oobleck I couldn’t resist talking about freezing any leftover oobleck. Last summer when we were done playing with the oobleck I had the girls put it into a plastic container that I later put in the freezer. When I was making a new batch of oobleck cubes and had extra I tossed it on top of the mixed frozen oobleck. This frozen brick went through phases of play. At one point the kids wanted it broken up so I tossed it on the ground… luckily it broke so dropping it became the next part of play. Ada loved using her frozen pieces with her toys and had her dinosaurs snack on it.

Frozen oobleck fun.

Cleaning Up Outside

Oobleck is just cornstarch and water so clean up was a breeze. We dumped a large jug of water into the oobleck and the kids had fun playing in the water.

Splashy oobleck cleanup.

Update: If you want more images I also used dyed frozen oobleck cubes to create a color-mixing sensory bin at Ada’s fourth birthday party.

We love oobleck and I find we go through phases where we play with it a lot and then forget about it for awhile. I can’t wait to see if our oobleck play changes as the kids get older of if it will, primarily, stay the same. I hope this helped you if you’re looking at changing up your oobleck play or if you’re looking for a way to cool down. What is your favorite way to play with oobleck? How do you make it your own? Feel free to share in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. Hope you’re having a great day!

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